Know Where Buyers Come From

There's an old saying that says there's a perfect match out there for everyone - and that goes for home buyers and sellers too! The right buyer is out there, but it takes time, expertise and resources to put them together with the right seller to make the sale.

Real estate professionals know that there's a lot more to selling a home than just putting a sign on the lawn and waiting for nature to take its course. There are many other sources of buyers, and a good real estate salesperson will utilize several different marketing approaches to find potential buyers. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), a US-based trade organization, agents used the following methods to attract buyers to their listings last year:

> Yard sign - 75%
> Internet - 61%
> Open house - 51%
> Newspaper ad - 48%
> Real Estate home guide/magazine - 34%
> Direct Mail - 17%
> TV - 6%

That's where your real estate representative finds buyers, and it's interesting to note that the picture is changing. Over the last few years, the Internet has become an increasingly important tool used by home buyers in their home search. In fact, a 2003 NAR survey of home buyers showed that 71% of buyers used the Internet at some point in their search for homes, compared to only 41% in 2001. Those buyers who used the Internet were generally younger and earned more (38 years old, household income $70,700) than their non-Internet using counterparts (47 years old, $56,300). Internet searchers were more likely to have at least two earners in the household and have children residing in the home.

However, perhaps the most interesting statistic of all was that 89% of Internet searchers used a real estate agent. Also of note was that despite the fact that most started their search on the internet, 41% of homebuyers first found out about the home they actually purchased through an agent. So what does all this mean to you? Simply that, although more and more people are using the internet in the early stages of their property search - particularly affluent, younger buyers -- buyers still need the help of an experienced and knowledgeable real estate professional to help them evaluate the wealth of information that's available, and to guide them throughout the complex real estate transaction process.